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Text. How could we live without it?

Withdraw the use of the document from our lifestyle and ask, "How could we live without it?" It is partly a technological, partly a psychological question. There is one small piece of evidence we can supply from ourselves. Until we are five to seven years old we ourselves are oralists, pure and simple, albeit children dealing orally with a world controlled by literate adults. (Havelock, The Muse Learns to Write 67)

This relates to what I was saying in class on Tuesday--that is, that even if writing and print were to be suddenly stripped from our world, we would still be able to function as a healthy society. It would just take time for us to readjust.

I know that most young children I've known throughout my lifetime who have not yet learned to read often pester their parents constantly to translate text into speech for them, evidence that supports Havelock's argument here.

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Comments

I'm reminded of 5th grade. My research paper topic was penguins. In 5th grade, most kids had their own computer. I was stuck with a typewriter. I remember sitting all day typing and retyping pages, becoming frustrated with my mother the perfectionist. Luckily, I've inherited that quality. I couldn't even imagine having to use a typewriter now. I'd rather just hand-write, go back to our roots, than downgrade in technological advances. If writing and print were stolen from us, of course we'd still survive. Last I checked we needed oxygen, food, and water, not computers, phones, and pagers to survive. :)

We would sruvive because we retain the memories of what we learned throughout our previously-literate society. True, it might be hard to adjust building fires by hands and walking everywhere, but we would still know how to cook meat and other foods, how to maintain hygiene, and how to do math and science. Our literate culture taught us these things through television programs and how-to books. Technology is not meant to be a crutch, without which we could not stand, but a guide for life. For example, a research paper: most of us would type it on a word processor and then upload it to turnitin.com or email it to our professor. What about before email and computers? You COULD hand-write your paper and then hand it to your professor in person. However, that method is not convienient in the age of modern technology.

I agree. look how far we have come as a society with communication. Our young even crave it at a young age. Whose to say we could not continue on?

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